Despite what some media outlets have been saying, not a thrilling Monaco Grand Prix, but certainly an interesting and intriguing one. The closeness of the competition, and the vagaries of tyre management and the Monaco weather, tended to obscure the fact that there was little passing, or even attempted passing, in the top echelons of the field, even by the standards of the street circuit. Because of the trends established thus far in 2012, there must be a temptation to pass even the quite mundane off as pulsatingly exciting.
Mark Webber's performance was composed and error-free, and will be a major filip for the Australian, after some ill-fortune and disappointments earlier in the season. After the pit-stops and tyre strategies unravelled, he looked reasonably comfortable, and none of his pursuers looked realistically capable of getting by, despite the presence of the tightly-packed bunch, exacerbated by the rain in the closing laps.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of Sunday's race was the performance of Ferrari. Did the nature of the circuit mask some of the car's deficiencies, or has there been genuine progress? There is probably foundation in both of these theories, and Alonso's comments post-race sounded cautiously upbeat. The race showing of Felipe Massa will have dampened speculation concerning his future, until Montreal at least...
Perhaps the disappointment of the weekend was the failure of Lotus to fully realise the great hopes which had been invested in them beforehand. Although they did emerge from the weekend with little tangible to show for their efforts, no major concern or disquiet is evident. Everyone is fully conscious of the margins under which people are operating this year. Sauber, another team constantly knocking at the door of a real breakthrough, might have expressed similar sentiments after the race...
Events at McLaren continue to fascinate, as they are further subsumed into the main pack, following their perceived "advantage" at the outset of the season. Lewis Hamilton appears to be coping better than his team-mate. Button endured another torrid race, caught in traffic, and then spinning out. Frustration?
Michael Schumacher was ultimately out of luck in Monaco, but the weekend did contain some things which should give him heart. A fast time in qualifying, and a feisty start in the race, which was curtailed by his contretemps with Romain Grosjean.
A quick word of praise to both Jean-Eric Vergne and Heikki Kovalainen, whose creditable displays have gone relatively unheralded.
All in all, Monaco seemed to offer little in the way of solid pointers for the rest of the season, and anyway any bold predictions are proving futile this year!